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Asylum-seekers test positive for COVID-19 in Texas

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108 asylum-seekers have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus in Brownsville, TX since they began administering COVID-19 tests on Jan. 25, which is 6.3% of those who took the test, a spokesperson for Brownsville confirmed.

The city of Brownsville administers these rapid tests at the bus station, after migrant families are released by the Border Patrol, according to NBC News.

A Brownsville city spokesperson said in an email obtained by NBC News that the city does not have the authority to retain these migrants who plan to travel to cities throughout the country. The spokesperson assured that municipal workers recommend to those who test positive to keep quarantine as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The City of Brownsville continues to follow all guidelines provided by the CDC and DSHS (Department of State Health Services) for Covid-19. The migrants who test positive at the B-Metro facility are advised of quarantine procedures and are asked to socially distance,” Felipe Romero, Brownsville’s communications and marketing director, said in an emailed statement.

“There are several NGOs providing resources to a positive case,” the email continues. “For example, organizations help with quarantine either in a shelter or at hotel. Since the City started testing the migrants on January 25, there has been 6.3% of positive cases. The Cameron County positivity rate is 13.8%.”

At least eight asylum-seekers tested positive for COVID-19 in Brownsville, Tx Tuesday after crossing the Rio Grande border Monday.

Miriam Izaguirre, a 35-year-old asylum-seeker from Honduras, crossed the Rio Grande border on Monday with her son and turned herself in to the authorities, NBC News reported.

Izaguirre was then tested for coronavirus at the Brownsville bus station. As she was waiting to catch a bus to Houston, her test results came back positive.

“Right now we were tested for Covid and they separated about eight of us because we were positive,” Izaguirre told Noticias Telemundo Investiga. “We are waiting right now.”

Other migrant families who were waiting to travel to North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey, also tested positive.

Several of the asylum-seekers who tested positive told Noticias Telemundo Investiga they were still planning to travel to their destinations, despite the positive COVID-19 results.

Eva Orellana, an asylum-seeker from Honduras who tested positive, said she was going to take the bus to North Carolina with her 3-year-old daughter. “On the way, we were wearing a mask all the time, gel, washing our hands,” she said. “Really, I don’t feel anything.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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